The People

The People
It is crazy where some of my ideas for this piece come from. For example, I am sitting on the balcony of Capt. Dale Fridy's Redfish Inn down at South Padre Island and I have to say- life is pretty good right now as I look out over the Laguna Madre with an adult beverage in my hand. Yep, it does not any better. Well actually it does. While I am sitting here trying to write this I am distracted not only by the view and ambiance but also by listening to the other guests talk about boats, skiffs and fly fishing. But hey, that is my life. I have to say that I am truly blessed in that I am able to travel to other places and everywhere I go, there are like-minded folks.

I would say one of the best parts of my job is getting to meet all the wonderful people that are part of the world of fly fishing. Honestly, there are very few fly fishermen or women that I have met that are not just the absolute best of people. There are of course exceptions, but honestly, they are few and far between.

While down south I have had the opportunity to spend time with old and not so old friends as well has had the chance to get to know a couple of people that I just met. While sitting here I am listening to Eric Glass, a friend of fifteen years and one hell of a skiff guide, and his friend Bob Sharron talking to John and Nick Rizopoulos and Chris White, other guests of Dale's talk about all the things that I love so much. In fact, I am so enthralled with the conversation I actually am going to quit writing now and pick this back up tomorrow.

Now here it is the following day, EJ is hacked at me as normal for being late with my story but, we all made it another day and it is just as beautiful down here on the Mother Lagoon as is it was yesterday. So where was I?

Really though, it is truly great to sit down and talk fishing with other people that share the passion. And, always, if I am able to keep my mouth shut and listen (which is tough for me) I always learn new things about everything. In fact, I will have to say that I have picked up so much on this trip that it is like sensory overload. While, listening to Eric and Dale talk guiding and Nick and his father talk about the trials and tribulations of the refurbishing of their 28' Mako, I was amazed at how much I was able to pick up. For example, just a few minutes ago, I listened to John and Nick talk about a product called Tef-Gel that is utilized to protect against corrosion where stainless steel and aluminum meet (a bad combination in the saltwater environment that we all love). They utilize the agent on everything from fishing reels to the aluminum work on their boat. I am thinking that I will definitely have to check this stuff out.

Now, turning the clock back a couple of weeks, I had a similar experience down in the lower Florida Keys as I got together with the World Angling crew to work on a photo shoot for Hell's Bay Boatworks. Now, for those of you who have not heard of World Angling, it is a media company that was started by Dave Teper and Will Benson (one of the top Keys skiff guides). These guys started documenting their passion and along the way recruited friends (the crew) to help and together. . . well, they have created some of the most exciting saltwater fly fishing videos of all times.

Down there I had the chance to meet all kinds of people. Of course Dave and Willy but also characters like Everglades guides Kevin Mihailoff and Jeff Legutki and another south Florida guide by the name of Brian Esposito who also builds one hell of a skiff in his garage. Add to that meeting Alex Ducro who not only has eyes like an osprey, but is also the only fishing guide on the tiny Caribbean island of Guadalupe. A place that I hear from several friends that have been, is one of the most spectacular flats fishing destinations of all time. To hear these guys talk fishing and experiences is one of the coolest things. Even better yet, for every fishing experience they share, they have a visual aid.

Of that trip, the best part was the night we all got together at Willy's house for a barbecue. There were like eight or nine skiff guides sitting around five different Hell's Bay skiffs and we were all sharing our thoughts, ideas, likes and dislike about these boats. There was a lot to share and even more to learn.

Again though, this is an everyday thing for me. All of my closest friends share the passion and all we do is talk fishing and boats. But the best part of it, even in the absence of my closest friends, my work and my passion allow me the privilege of meeting great people on a daily basis. I do not know what could be better.

Until next month- be gude and stuff like that!